on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Majestic Trees of Deadvlei

Judy Cochand

Judy Cochand

Judy Cochand

I have loved photography for as long as I can remember and, as a teacher, one of my great joys was sharing this passion with young children. I have a camera with me most of the time because you just never know when a little light or a well placed shadow will illuminate something that catches the eye. My children say there is no talking to me when I have my camera brain on and isn't that joyous; to be totally immersed in the world around you that the present moment transcends all else.

Judy Cochand 4x4

Recently, I had the joyous experience of driving across Namibia with a group for friends. I piloted the 'girl car' through the rough and ready roads of the Namib Desert. The landscape is harsh, hot and desperately beautiful. One of my key destinations was the dried up salt pan of Sossusvlei, where the dead trees still stand after they were cut off from water by the dunes thousands of years ago. I determined to get there for sunrise mostly to beat the hoards of tourists who would arrive after the outer gates to the park were opened. We stayed at one of the two lodges inside the park, which gave us a bit of a head start, and it was certainly a privilege to have the place to ourselves for an hour or so before the crowds arrived.

It was quite spiritual to see the sun rising over the bright red dunes and beginning to illuminate the trees. This was somewhat spoiled by the irreverence some visitors had as several started climbing the fragile trees for the all important selfie. A guide I spoke to told us that it is likely that as tourism increases, the behaviour of some tourists will cause the area to be fenced and closed off to wandering tourists.

Sossusvlei Judy Cochand 2

Sossusvlei Judy Cochand 3

Sossusvlei Judy Cochand 4

Sossusvlei Judy Cochand 5

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